Stolen 300-year old Bible recovered in Ohio

Tim Shier held his family Bible, dating from the 1700s, at his home in Ohio on Sunday. The Bible was stolen in 2011.

Chris Russell/Columbus Dispatch via Associated Press

Tim Shier held his family Bible, dating from the 1700s, at his home in Ohio on Sunday. The Bible was stolen in 2011.

MARYSVILLE, Ohio — A central Ohio man’s heart sank when he realized that burglars had broken in and stolen a safe holding his most prized possession: a 300-year-old family Bible.

The Bible, written in German Gothic script and containing the handwritten dates of births, deaths, and marriages for seven generations of Tim Shier’s family, disappeared in the burglary in Marysville, in December 2011.


But thanks to a bit of luck, a sharp-eyed family member, local deputies, and Goodwill Industries — which had ended up with the Bible and then sold it online — the heirloom is back in Shier’s hands.

He called it an answer to his prayers. ‘‘Our family can’t put a price on that Bible,’’ Shier told the Columbus Dispatch. ‘‘History can never be replaced.’’

Get Ground Game in your inbox:
Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The effort started with the arrest of four men in the burglary. A judge offered to give one of the defendants a break if he could find the Bible. But the man came up empty, saying that he thought it had been dropped in some kind of bin.

A few weeks ago, one of Shier’s cousins saw a reference to an old German Bible on the genealogy website She called Shier, who called the sheriff’s office in Union County where he lives.

Sheriff’s detectives enlisted the help of Goodwill and tracked it to Georgia. But the couple who had bought it would not send it back without recouping the $405 they had paid for it. The Union County police union stepped up and covered the cost.

Associated Press

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of